You might not think a lot about how your air conditioner works, but it depends on refrigerant to keep your residence cold. This refrigerant is controlled by environmental regulation, because of the chemicals it contains.
Based on when your air conditioner was installed, it may need R-22, R-410A or R-32 refrigerant. We’ll review the differences and which air conditioner refrigerants are being phased out in Columbia, as well as how these phaseouts have on influence on you.
What’s R-22 and Why Is It Discontinued?
If your air conditioner was installed before 2010, it likely contains Freon®. You can find out if your air conditioner has it by reaching us at 601-736-7362. You can also inspect the name plate on your air conditioner condenser, which is located outside your house. This sticker will contain information on what kind of refrigerant your AC needs.
Freon, which is also called R-22, contains chlorine. Scientists consider R-22 to be harmful to the earth’s ozone layer and one that leads to global warming. The Environmental Protection Agency, which manages refrigerants in the United States, banned its production and import in January 2020.
I Use an Air Conditioner with R-22. Do I Need to Get a New One?
It varies. If your air conditioning is cooling as designed, you can continue to keep it. With regular air conditioner maintenance, you can expect your AC to operate around 15–20 years. However, the Department of Energy reports that removing a 10-year-old air conditioner could save you 20–40% on annual cooling bills!
If you don’t replace your air conditioner, it may create an issue if you have to have air conditioning repair later on, specifically for refrigerant. Repairs might be pricier, since only small quantities of recycled and reclaimed R-22 is on hand.
With the phaseout of R-22, many new air conditioners now use Puron®. Also known as R-410A, this refrigerant was made to keep the ozone layer in good shape. As it needs a different pressure level, it isn’t compatible with air conditioners that need R-22 for cooling.
However, Puron still has the possibility to contribute to global warming. As a result, it may also sometime be discontinued. Although it hasn’t been communicated yet for residential air conditioners, it’s likely sometime this decade.
What Refrigerant Will Replace R-410A?
In preparation of the discontinuation, some manufacturers have begun using R-32 in new air conditioners. This refrigerant is classified low for global warming possibility—around one-third less than R-410A. And it also decreases energy use by about 10%, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fourth Assessment Report. That’s savings that might be passed on to you through your cooling bills.
Watts Electric & AC Can Provide Support with All Your Air Conditioning Needs
In short, the alterations to air conditioner refrigerant probably won’t concern you greatly until you require repairs. But as we talked about beforehand, refrigerant repairs may be pricier because of the restricted amounts available.
Aside from that, your air conditioner typically malfunctions at the worst time, typically on the hottest day when we’re receiving lots of other requests for AC repair.
If your air conditioner uses a discontinued refrigerant or is getting old, we suggest upgrading to a modern, energy-efficient air conditioner. This delivers a trouble-free summer and can even lower your cooling expenses, especially if you get an ENERGY STAR®-rated air conditioner. Plus, Watts Electric & AC has many financing programs to make your new air conditioner fit your budget. Contact us at 601-736-7362 to start now with a free estimate.